Hearing is such an important part of our lives, so we want to make sure that you continue to enjoy your hearing for as long as possible. In such a noisy, modern world, a lot of things can affect the quality of your hearing. So how do your ears actually work?
How do we hear sound?
The outer ear is the organ outside the skull. Its intricate shape collects sound waves and funnels them into the ear canal and then onto the eardrum, which separates the outer and inner ear. The membrane of the eardrum is taut, like a drum skin, and vibrates in response to the sound waves.
These vibrations then pass on to three tiny bones in the middle ear known as the hammer, anvil and stirrup. These bones are responsible for transmitting sound waves from the eardrum to the inner ear. The stirrup vibrates against a membrane, which sends pressure waves through the cochlea in the inner ear.
Inside the cochlea – which is the size of a pea and shaped like a snail shell – thousands of hair-like cells, linked to nerve fibres, change the sound waves into electrical signals, which are passed on to the brain.
Types of hearing loss
The type of hearing loss that you suffer from mostly depends on which part of the hearing system is affected. Find out about the different types of hearing loss and what we can do to help you make the right choices when it comes to your hearing.